9/22: US Department of State Joins the Together for Girls Public-Private Partnership Against Violence

Submitted by Danielle L. Erb on Wednesday, 9/29/2010, at 12:19 PM



Date: 22 September 2010

New York — Today the US Department of State became an official partner of Together for Girls — the global partnership to end sexual violence against girls announced last year by President William J. Clinton at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. Through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and in collaboration with the Office of Global Women’s Issues, the US Department of State is the newest partner to join Together for Girls and lend support to end sexual violence.

In addition to PEPFAR and the Office of Global Women’s Issues, the Together for Girls partnership includes the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIFEM (part of UN Women), the CDC Foundation, the Nduna Foundation, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), and Grupo ABC of Brazil.

US Senate to review International Violence Against Women Bill

Submitted by Rachel L. Tuchman on Wednesday, 9/29/2010, at 12:09 PM

this bill would require the US State Dept. to develop a 5 year plan to reduce violence against women in 20 targeted countries-



Re: Women's Economic Opportunity and Kavita Ramdas

Submitted by Katherine W. Guthrie on Tuesday, 9/28/2010, at 3:37 PM

This post is primarily in response to the Economist's Women's Economic Opportunity Report 2010 and the video of Kavita Ramdas. While watching Ramdas' speech, her use of the word "empowerment" in a somewhat sarcastic tone while speaking of ways that people are trying to invest in women reminded me of Harcourt's "Development as if Gender Matters." In that article, Harcourt, as we mentioned in class, discusses how "female empowerment" has been captured by market forces, which have a way of removing the meaning of such a term; however, I think there are sometimes advantages to such larger forces or institutions. Big names and big brands, even if they use female empowerment to lure you into buying a bag because it was made by women in Sudan, it creates chains of financial independence that would not occur otherwise.  Institutions and markets influence people into paying attention to such issues, and by drawing greater attention to them, they can affect people's lives. I think that the fashion industry's adoption of women's rights, illustrated by the multiple ads in SELF magazine this month advertising that company's support for breast cancer research, is one example of how women have worked to affect change within an institution. 

The idea of affecting change from inside, which we also discussed in class last week while talking about the UN and its new UN Women, stood out to me in Kavita Ramdas' example of the devout Muslim woman in Afghanistan that she discussed in detail.  Looking at the Muslim woman's photo on the screen, she did not look different from many Muslim women and also sported the headscarf.  What struck me was how that woman started the school she had told Kavita about.  She had spoken to the Imam, and by appealing to his interests was able to gain support for what he may have considered something that benefited him and their religion, but really was something that grew into a school for women, and whatever they decided to learn about.  When I heard that, I was interested to see the Economist's Reports analysis of women in Afghanistan, but was disappointed to not find it in the listed countries.  I'm also curious as to how much this study may have cost, especially when the UN Women's budget is $500,000.  I was wondering what others think may be why Afghanistan is not listed, budget constraints, and working within or outside of institutions.

Kavita Ramdas talks about global feminism

Submitted by Rachel L. Tuchman on Tuesday, 9/28/2010, at 1:54 PM




This is an amazing short video from TED, which has great resources for discussions on global gender issues. She explicitly mentions the discussion on human rights as women's rights- so check it out!